We lost out on a few Plan A’s in the transfer window and Plan B seems to be a directionless flap scouring the loan market for the proverbial ‘stop-gap’ resolution. The old ‘the roof is leaking so stick a bucket under it’ approach. This seems to have been the defining solution for major squad shortfalls in our transfer tactics for a little while now, including this revolution…ish…summer.
After days, weeks and what felt like years at times, the transfer window has been shut - Paolo Di Canio had concluded business and finally, yes finally has signed a left back…permanently! The void was always going to be tough to fill after Danny Rose’s successful season-long loan came to an end as he returned to Tottenham Hotspur but in the name of Andrea Dossena we will now have to trust.
Sunderland set piece woes have been the prime catalyst for our poor start to the new campaign. Had we defended these with any real organisation or composure, we would theoretically have at least four points on the board. So where exactly has this huge defensive shortfall stemmed from? Well, one person we certainly can’t blame is Martin O’Neill.
When Arsenal travel to the Stadium of Light this weekend to take on Sunderland, a fairly familiar face on Wearside will be sat in the Gunners’ dugout. Following the departure of long-serving Irishman Pat Rice in summer 2012, Steve Bould has, as assistant manager, shared with Arsene Wenger his tactical nous...
After a summer of discontent for our former captain, Lee Cattermole has declared himself fit to return to the first team – with potentially an appearance on Saturday against Arsenal. So, the question which immediately pops to mind – do we need him? Evidentially… yes! We wrote a little bit about our central midfield plight in our piece regarding Ki Sung-Yeung, and whilst it is the likely weekend debutant...
Paolo Di Canio may be facing criticism from many quarters for Sunderland's inept performances so far this season, but he did not show he was under pressure at all when he turned out as a late call-up for Steve Harper's testimonial on Wednesday night. The Italian would have surely known he was putting himself in the firing line to receive the wrath of most of the 50,793 fans who packed St James' Park.
As we reflect on what is our worst start to a season since 2005, let me take you away from chomping your nails at the inevitable goal(s) Stephane Sessegnon will score against us for West Brom this weekend. Signed as part of Roy Keane’s raid of the former Manchester United players dustbin, Baggies saviour Kieran Richardson cost us a hefty £5.5 million price tag and god knows how much in wages. Did he ever repay that? Well, maybe just about…ish.
I am not quite sure how Lee Cattermole may be feeling after being wooed by a snappy-dressed Italian suitor last week. Did their eyes meet across a crowded room or was it more showered in broken crockery? Perhaps he is as enchanted as in the Rogers and Hart love song 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,' which some may be thinking.
It’s been over ten years since we last witnessed the delightful and prolific partnership of Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn terrorise the Premier League with their little and large combination on top of their goal score abilities. The memory of the pair scoring against Newcastle will forever be etched in my mind for the rest of my life, quite simply, they were idolised, and rightly so, during their time at the club.
Paolo Di Canio’s stint as Sunderland manager was short lived. It was both delightful as it was depressing. Intriguing as it was infuriating. Exciting as it was…erm…unforgettable. You will not get a more memorable 13 games out of any other manager – let me tell you that! As an ode to the Italian madman, we felt obliged to diarise his time in the hot seat.